By Danielle Kutchel
A Berwick resident is furious after the City of Casey repeatedly refused to remove what he believes is a dangerous gumtree from his nature strip.
Adam Jacobi says the gumtree has caused “nothing but distress and anger” for him and his family, spreading roots through the lawn and clogging gutters with leaves.
His wife is too scared to sleep in the front bedroom during a storm in case the tree falls on the house, he says.
In March 2018 he messaged Casey Council, begging them to remove the tree.
Casey workers inspected the tree, but when Mr Jacobi requested a copy of the arborist’s report and investigation outcome, he was told he would need to lodge a freedom of information request.
In messages sent to the City of Casey and seen by Star News Group, Mr Jacobi alleged that a crack had appeared in his roof and his bedroom door had been pushed out of alignment, and he would pursue the council for damages if the issues were found to be caused by the gumtree.
Mr Jacobi sought respite under Timbarra’s tree removal program, but was told the tree was not part of the program.
The issue has dragged on and in messages sent by the City of Casey this year, council workers told Mr Jacobi that the tree “has been assessed as a low risk of harm to people and property.”
To date, the only action taken has been that a low-hanging branch has been removed and dead wood has been cut back.
Mr Jacobi says that’s not good enough.
“My major issue is the safety of the children in the court and the damage to my house to which they have basically said “prove it”, or they won’t do anything,” he said.
“They have visited the site twice and not once looked at the damage to my house.
“They have given me no help or information on how to go about proving it.”
Casey’s manager city presentation, David Richardson, said the tree had been inspected in May this year and did not meet the criteria for removal as it was determined to not pose “an unacceptable risk to people or property.”
“A professional arborist assesses the general risk of our trees and they are removed if they’re dead, dying, diseased or dangerous,” he said.